21 Feb Anna Kennedy OBE awarded Top Autism Ambassador
Dr. Anna Kennedy OBE, Founder of the UK Autism Charity Anna Kennedy Online, was recently selected as Top Autism Ambassador of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) for her outstanding leadership, dedication and contributions to autistic children, parents of autistic children, professionals, media and all who are concerned with autism.
While inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals is an honor, only a few members in each discipline are chosen for this distinction. These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, other affiliations and contributions to their communities. All honorees are invited to attend the IAOTP’s annual awards gala at the end of this year for a night to honor their achievements. www.iaotp.com/award-gala
With more than 23 years of professional experience as a talented educator, mother and autism ambassador, Dr. Anna Kennedy has certainly proven herself as accomplished and she is an expert of autism campaigning.
Currently she is the Chairperson of Anna Kennedy Online Autism Charity and a leading Autism Ambassador who is recognized and celebrated worldwide.
Upon the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome for Anna’s eight-year-old son and Autism for her five-year-old son, Anna and her husband Sean started a support group in their home for autism, 275 families joined. With this amount of success, they remortgaged their house and raised a significant amount of funds to open a special school to suit the educational needs of their children. Anna has cofounded 2 schools and an adult vocational centre.
As the Chairperson and founder of Anna Kennedy Online Autism Charity, her team of volunteers actively incorporates workshops, training, legal advice, and speaking engagements across UK. Additionally, they update social media and the AnnaKennedyOnline website to remain current.
Includability- The Home of Inclusive Employers, is a partner to the cause which ensures everyone receives an equal opportunity for any job.
A large part of this charity provides valuable resources through an autism virtual community with more than 100k followers. With social media, that is Facebook and Twitter, they share advice, tips, current information and success stories about progress of children and adults who are on the spectrum.
Campaigning for the cause targets issues of autism diagnosis. During Autism Awareness Month (April) their “Give us a Break” autism anti-bullying campaign raised awareness in schools and colleges. Autisms Got Talent was organized by Anna and showcased autistic children and adults who performed on stage and an autistic dancer was featured on Britain’s Got Talent. Autisms Got Talent has celebrated 11 years of showcasing hundreds of talented autistic children and adults across the UK and overseas in Central London to an audience of over 600 people. There are several annual events such as the AKO Autism Expo, the Autism Hero Awards and local events, fundraisers and speaking engagements aimed at Parliament, the House of Commons and the media to put pressure and create successful change.
Anna is the author of the best-selling biography, available on Amazon, entitled Not Stupid. Her story of struggles she faced while setting up a school for her boys and how she improved the quality of life for her sons and other children with autism.
Dr. Anna Kennedy is an active member of the autism community and serves as an ambassador for the Special Dreams Foundation, Includability and Autism Anglia Born Anxious. She is a committee member of LOANI, Ladies of All Nations International Group. Anna is a proud patron who supports DaisyChain, Square Peg Foundation, Kilmarock Horse Rescue, Autism Support Crawley, Cheshire Autism Practical Support and Hillingdon SEND.
Throughout her illustrious career, Anna has received awards, accolades and was recognized worldwide for her commitment to raising autism awareness and helping those on the spectrum. This year she is being considered for a Front Cover feature and a 2-page article in TIP (Top Industry Professional) Magazine and for the Empowered Woman of the Year Award given by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP).
Anna was appointed an OBE (Royal Reward for Inspirational Mother) Award by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 2012 for her services and dedication. Furthermore, she was voted one of six individuals for the very first BBC Strictly and Anna and her professional strictly partner received 4x10s for their fastest ever Charleston on BBC Strictly. Anna was awarded the “Achieving Mum of the Year” of Tesco Mum of the Year award in 2013 for her campaign work for autistic children. She also won the “Woman of the Year” in 2009 for the Observer and Smooth Radio. Lastly, Anna received the Institute of Directors Chairman’s special award for her contributions to the autism community and Daily Mail Woman of the Year in 2010.
The President of IAOTP, Stephanie Cirami, stated “We are honored to have Dr. Anna Kennedy apart of the IAOTP family. She is brilliant at what she does, has tremendous foresight and her advocacy skills are unmatched. We know she is an amazing asset to our network of professionals. We are looking forward to meeting her at the Annual Awards Gala this year.”￼
Looking back, Dr. Anna Kennedy attributes her success to Patrick and Angelo, her two sons, who has been the driving force of her charity. She believes it is important amongst a growing community to make help, support and advice available to all. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and sharing her journey in hopes to inspire others.
For the future, she will continue to fight hard for all diagnosed with autism, so their voices are heard and improve educational and other resources for individuals, families and care takers who are touched by autism.